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China Opens Doors For Foreign Investments In Hospitals Care System

The China's Health Minister, Gao Qiang, recently announced that Beijing is looking into possibilities of foreign investors in their hospital health care system//. To further encourage foreign investments the government is allowing companies to hold as much as 70 percent stake of the private medical facility.

At a press conference the Minister of health said, “Foreign invested hospitals will be strictly supervised by the Chinese government but there will no intervention in the economic management of these hospitals.”

Liu Dong, a representative of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), which is affiliated with the World Bank, told the "China Health Care Public-Private Partnership Forum 2007" Wednesday that IFC plans to invest $700 million in the Chinese market.

IFC has already invested in two joint venture hospitals in China.

Statistics showed that China had 18,703 hospitals in 2005, including 2,027 private hospitals.

Ninety-six percent of China's medical and health resources go into public hospitals, which Gao says is too high. He said the government will put forward a series of reforms in this field to allow more private investment in the country's medical services.

However, more preferential policies are needed to encourage the private and foreign-funded hospitals in China, said Wang Zongyao, deputy secretary-general of the Chinese Hospital Association.

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